This set of lessons asks students to refer to the SMUBA (Seeing, Mapping, Understanding, Believing, Acting) Process of Innovation. It is strongly suggested that you complete the lesson THINK: The Process of Innovation to give your students a base understanding of the SMUBA Process before implementing this lesson.
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
A system is a set of parts that relate in some way to form an interconnected whole. Systems thinking refers to a integrated approach to analyzing systems by observing and studying the interactions between the parts of the system. The ability to analyze systems is a key part of any STEM field because systems are all around us. Systems thinking can be applied to the study of something like an ecosystem, but it can also be used to examine how members of a family interact or explain why traffic jams tend to occur in specific parts of a city. Analyzing the parts of a system in a methodical way reveals patterns and relationships that may not be apparent when examining the systems as a whole, and a familiarity with analyzing systems will give students a foundation for addressing problems in a variety of contexts. This lesson provides students with the opportunity to reflect on how they use systems thinking in their daily lives, and how it might be applied in many different disciplines. The worksheets in this lesson are uploaded as word documents so that you are able to edit and offer systems examples more specific to your students and your curricular sequence.
System: A set of parts that relate in some way to form an interconnected whole
Boundary: In the context of systems, boundary refers to the distinction between parts included in a system and anything external to the system
Input: Any resource or factor added into a system
Output: The result or outgoing product of a system
Processes: An action or series of actions taking place within a system. This can refer to the interactions between parts within a system
Feedback: The output of a system is put back into the system and affects the way the system functions
Open System: A system that is influenced by external forces and allows for the exchange of resources with other systems
Closed System: A system that is not influenced by external forces and does not allow for the exchange of resources with other systems
Part 1: Systems Basics
You may complete Part 1 of this lesson, if possible, in a larger space such as a cafeteria, auditorium, or schoolyard. If this isn’t feasible, you can prompt students with a rule that is more conducive to your space.
Part 2: Describing Systems
Part 3: Mapping Data
In part 3, have students create their maps using digital tools such as bubbl.us.
This lesson was developed by the New York Hall of Science.
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